A woman injured while having sex in her hotel room on a business trip sponsored by her employer is not entitled to workers compensation, the High Court of Australia ruled Oct. 30, 2013.

Legal minds across Australia are resting easier today after the High Court resolved an issue before the courts since 2007. It’s certain to form legal precedent for decades to come: is sex “necessary activity” for a motel room on a business trip?

Turns out, it’s not, even if you work in Human Relations. So say the majority of judges on the High Court, who denied the woman's claim for workers compensation after her injuries, The Australian reported.

That’s the fate of a 37-year-old Australian woman, who injured herself swinging from a lighting fixture in the ceiling during a work-hours encounter with a friend after dinner.

OK, that part of the case remains in doubt. It’s unclear if the woman was swinging, or if it was her male partner.

Still, she ended up with a damaged nose, mouth, tooth and “consequent psychiatric injury,” The Daily Telegraph said.

She sued for benefits, since it was her employer who booked the shoddy motel room, and she was expected to stay overnight for meetings the next day. The woman also claimed post-traumatic stress.

The woman – who cannot be identified in the courts – and her lawyer said she was injured “in the course” of her employment.

A majority of judges on the High Court disagreed, saying her employer neither induced nor encouraged her to have sex.

In a lone dissenting opinion, however, Justice Stephen Gageler said it doesn’t matter what she was doing, only that she was hurt in the process.

Still, it wasn’t enough for the woman to win her case, a decision hailed by Minister of Employment Eric Abetz.

“The High Court has taken a very welcome commonsense approach that will see a more sensible approach prevail in the future,” he said, The Australian reported. “This decision also means that the definition of ‘work-related injury’ is more clearly defined.”


Related Stories